Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Around My Head - A Review of I WANT IT THAT WAY by Ann Aguirre

Title: I Want It That Way
Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher: Harlequin
Date: 8/26/2014
Source: Netgalley, Harlequin

Synopsis: Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she's determined to make them come true—for her parents' sake as well as her own. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, she barely has time to think, let alone date. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B…. 

Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can't risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, a social life is out of the question. The last thing he wants is for four noisy students to move into the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia's and Ty's paths cross, and soon they can't stay away from each other. 

The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can't know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.



“Where are you from?”

Ah, an actual question. That means I can ask one back.

“Nebraska, toward the South Dakota and Wyoming side, if that helps.”

“I’ve never met anyone from there.”

Michigan was a long way from home. “I usually get ‘not in Nebraska anymore’ jokes, and then I have to decide if I’m going to remind them that’s Kansas or play along.”

“What do you usually do?”

“Play along.”

“You don’t like conflict, huh?” He sounded normal tonight, as if talking to me wasn’t an unpleasant chore anymore.

That was a relief since I’d come to look forward to these moments with him so much. More, maybe, than I’d like to admit.Right. Friends. I distracted myself by considering his question. “Not if it can be avoided. I’m not what you’d call pugnacious, no. But I like to think I don’t back off important issues. What about you?”

“No.” His voice was bleak and quiet. “I don’t. Even when I should.”

Wow, that took a dark turn.

If I could’ve jumped onto his patio without breaking an ankle or waking Sam, I’d have been down there like a shot. The distance between us seemed intolerable, and from the knot in my throat, I didn’t see how I could live another second without touching him, finding out if his hair was as soft as it looked or what he smelled like. I wanted him in a way I never had before.

In high school, I had a boyfriend who played basketball, and we broke up when I left the state. It was a rational decision, and I didn’t miss him that much once I was gone. My freshman year, I went out with a lot of different guys, one date here, two dates there, but I never clicked with anyone enough to focus on them. Sometimes there were hookups with no strings, no expectations. Classes, friends and work seemed a lot more important. The intensity of this attraction was foreign and frightening, if exhilarating. I might already be backing off if I had the faintest sense that Ty was jerking me around on purpose.

Wish he didn’t make me feel this way. It’d be so much simpler if I could friend-zone him.

I realized I still hadn’t touched his verbal grenade. “We all have things we’d do differently in hindsight.”

“What is it about you?” he asked in a wondering tone.


“You make me…better. Calmer.”

“Like a sedative?” I snickered. It was the least sexy thing a guy had ever said to me, including a junior high squeeze who said my face wasn’t actually that bad.

He laughed, too, a sheepish sound. “I didn’t mean it like that. Just…I’m worried pretty much all the time that I’m dropping the ball somewhere, about to face-plant, but when I come out here and hear your voice, everything backs off like ten steps. I can breathe again.”

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Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.


For me, I WANT IT THAT WAY was a nice deviation from the typical New Adult tropes.  There was no scarred bad boy who treats the girl badly in order to hide his pain.  There was no wide-eyed innocent girl with friends who continually make her over to impress the bad boy.  There was just a deep attraction followed by sweet and sexy interactions.

Nadia moves into a new apartment and soon after meets strong and quiet neighbor below.  Daniel Tyler, or Ty, is a single-dad raising his four year-old son on his own.  While he finds himself insanely attracted to Nadia, he is reluctant to introduce any changes to his son.

I have to make a small disclaimer here. There seems to be a lot of drinking to drown out feelings and drinking until someone passes out, and while I don't agree with this behavior, I know that it is typical of college students worldwide.

The attraction between Ty and Nadia is intense and crazy, but their interactions are sweet and uplifting.  They are very good for each other and I like how they tend to encourage the best in each other.

I'm really looking forward to the rest of this series.

4 out of 5 stars

Okay, the video doesn't go with the story so just listen to the words.

Cage The Elephant - Around My Head

I don't think it's
very nice to
walk around my head 
all night
you've got me tangled
like a bread tie twisted
I don't think it's fair

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